THURSDAY 12 January
SAINT Marguerite Bourgeoys
Born in Troyes in France, she went to Canada at the age of 33, where she taught and devoted herself to works of corporal mercy and founded the Congregation of Notre-Dame de Montréal. She died on 12 January 1700.
Upon a lofty throne, I saw a man seated, whom a host of angels adore, singing in unison: Behold him, the name of whose empire is eternal.
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, O Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First reading: Hebrews 3: 7-14
The Holy Spirit says: If only you would listen to him today; do not harden your hearts, as happened in the Rebellion, on the Day of Temptation in the wilderness, when your ancestors challenged me and tested me, though they had seen what I could do for forty years. That was why I was angry with that generation and said: How unreliable these people who refuse to grasp my ways! And so, in anger, I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them. Take care, brothers, that there is not in any one of your community a wicked mind, so unbelieving as to turn away from the living God. Every day, as long as this ‘today’ lasts, keep encouraging one another so that none of you is hardened by the lure of sin, because we shall remain co-heirs with Christ only if we keep a grasp on our first confidence right to the end.
R/ O that today you would listen to his voice! “Harden not your hearts.”
Come in; let us bow and bend low; let us kneel before the God who made us: for he is our God and we the people who belong to his pasture, the flock that is led by his hand.
O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts as at Meribah, as on that day at Massah in the desert when your fathers put me to the test; when they tried me, though they saw my work.
For forty years I was wearied of these people and I said: “Their hearts are astray, these people do not know my ways.” Then I took an oath in my anger: “Never shall they enter my rest.”’
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:88
Alleluia, alleluia! Because of your love give me life, and I will do your will. Alleluia!
Gospel: Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to Jesus and pleaded on his knees: “If you want to,” he said, “you can cure me.” Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. “Of course, I want to!” he said. “Be cured!” And the leprosy left him at once and he was cured. Jesus immediately sent him away and sternly ordered him, “Mind you say nothing to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offering for your healing prescribed by Moses as evidence of your recovery.” The man went away, but then started talking about it freely and telling the story everywhere, so that Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived. Even so, people from all around would come to him.
Prayer over the Offerings
May your people’s oblation, O Lord, find favour with you, we pray, that it may restore them to holiness and obtain what they devoutly entreat. Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon: Ps 35: 10
With you, O Lord, is the fountain of life, and in your light we see light.
Prayer after Communion
Humbly we ask you, almighty God, be graciously pleased to grant that those you renew with your Sacraments may also serve with lives pleasing to you. Through Christ our Lord.
We are very often victims or witnesses of physical or emotional suffering that sometimes cuts us off from society, and for which a simple gesture of compassion and solidarity could restore our confidence. This is essentially what emerges from the encounter of the leper with Christ. He teaches us by his request that we must place our trust in the Lord who does not exclude anyone but welcomes us with love. The leper also reminds us to be thankful for all the times that the Lord has restored in us what prevented us from feeling full of life for a long time.